So much written material is lost in the normal course of business it is forgotten just how much there was originally. The
Empire and the Egyptian Empire before that ran on papyrus. It was easily made and readily
available. It just was no good for long
Beyond that, the contents of these and other ancient texts are a reminder that creation of a tool produces a culture. If it is possible to use that tool to store information we may even end up knowing about it.
I have posted often on the Atlantean Empire which appears to have operated long before a written language was available. This is not the problem it appears on first blush. The Inca did quite well without and that is the point anyway. The practical day to day problem is keeping count. Verbal reports and orders, insignia and the like cover most other needs. Contracts and buying and selling need a way to measure and count and this need existed in every antique society the moment it outgrew its village.
It is plausible that papyrus was used extensively to record counts and such other book keeping information as needed from well before the advent of formal writing of any kind.
This means that if the only information to be recorded was in the form of counts, then simple pictograms work nicely. It is easy to construct a linear system that starts by naming the subject and then describing the count. A hands hand of fishes is obvious.
Papyrus Research Provides Insight into Job Training, More in Ancient World
Released: 11/30/2011 11:00 AM EST
Source: University of Cincinnati
Newswise — Education, jobs, religion and even the cultural effects of bilingualism were as topical in the ancient world as they are today.
All of these topics and more are featured in translations of ancient papyrus in the University of Cincinnati-based journal, “Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists,” due out Dec. 2.
The annually produced journal, edited since 2006 by Peter van Minnen, UC associate professor and head of classics, features the most prestigious global research on papyri, a field of study known as papyrology. (Papyrology is formally known as the study of texts on papyrus and other materials, mainly from ancient
Below are five topics treated in the 2011 volume of the “Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists.”
NAILING DOWN JOB TRAINING
Chris Eckerman of the
WHAT LANGUAGE DO BILINGUAL DREAMERS (AND GODS) USE?
Stephen Kidd of
A MIRACLE FIND
Albert Pietersma and Susan Comstock of the University of Toronto edit pages that, until recently, were missing from a famous early Christian papyrus codex (manuscript volume) from the fourth century AD. The codex itself has a fascinating history. It was acquired in the 1950s by the
The codex, with its early Christian texts in Greek and Coptic, originally came from a monastery in Upper Egypt that was founded by Pachomius, an Egyptian Christian, who was the originator of the monastic way of life in which male or female monastics live together and have their possessions in common under the leadership of an abbot or abbess.
The recently found missing pages contain a Coptic prayer written by Pachomius for the annual Easter celebration. Arguably, Pachomius himself first recited this prayer at the end of the Easter service near the middle of the 4th century AD.
THE GREAT GRAIN ROBBERY
Ryan Boehm of the University of California, Berkeley, edits a 4th-century petition BC on papyrus, seeking justice from an administrator from Hermopolis. The petition charges an evil doer in an Egyptian village of stealing agricultural produce belonging to minors who are likely orphans.
Theodore de Bruyn and Jitse Dijkstra of the
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